About this Show

Anderson Cooper 360

News/Business. (2012) (CC)

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CNN

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01:00:00

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Comcast Cable

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Virtual Ch. 759 (CNN HD)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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1920

PIXEL HEIGHT
1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Israel 21, Hamas 13, Us 10, Clinton 7, Jerusalem 7, United States 7, Ben Wedeman 6, Egypt 6, Mahmoud Abbas 5, U.s. 5, Gaza City 4, Cairo 4, Ramallah 4, Anne Marie 4, Green Giant 4, Bob 3, Cnn 3, Benjamin Netanyahu 3, Jordan 2, Gordon 2,
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  CNN    Anderson Cooper 360    News/Business.  (2012)  (CC)  

    November 20, 2012
    10:00 - 11:00pm PST  

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stay with cnn for the latest on the middle east crisis and peace efforts. all for us tonight. "ac 360" starts now. and a day of dramatic developments on both sides of the border in gaza and the gaza strip and throughout israel. a lot of talk about cooling down, about a potential cease-fire. we have seen things heat up. it is very hot, indeed. a short time ago, several hours ago, many explosions just in the area behind me. i'll show you the videotape. no audio, so i'll talk over it. we didn't realize what was about to occur and we weren't recording sound during it. but a very loud blast as you see right there, basically all of us ducked down in the office. we thought that was the end of it. and our cameraman panned over. and a series of more explosions. it turns out this was a number of government buildings that is
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what is said to have been hit. it's not clear if those are secondary explosions or if those are multiple rockets going into the building. then started pointing out, it was not over. at that point you can hear the sound. let's listen in now. whoa. that's just the sound in the tail end of it. we didn't think we were on the air during all this time, which is why we weren't recording sound. you heard how loud the blasts were at the end. consider how loud the blasts were even earlier when we weren't recording sound. an enormous series of blasts, percussion of it could be felt for many, many blocks. a huge cloud of smoke blanketed the entire area here in central gaza for several blocks.
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we don't have a number on casualties if there were any, or any injured. dramatic developments on the ground today. bloodshed in gaza city and israel as well. we'll have reports on both sides of the border, and i want to warn you, what you are about to see is very disturbing what we witnessed with frur own eyes from our vantage point. what we saw the last 24 hours here in gaza city and israel. take a look. day seven. talk of a cease-fire or time-out never materializes and the fire rages on. rockets continued to be fired from gaza, and massive explosions rock gaza stechl. >> i think it's pretty clear we're moving in the direction of -- i can hear shattering glass out there right now the building just shook. of course, i was looking at the camera, so i didn't see where the blast took place.
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anybody see it? to the north of the building here. despite talk of cease-fire, it appears that the guns are still firing. >> cnn's ben wedeman during a live report. we rushed to the scene of the blast moments later. i'm told this house, this villa, belongs to a very wealthy man who is a member of fatah, who is not here. a wealthy banker and some local people here believe maybe somebody else was living in the house or maybe hamas had taken over the house and that's why it was a target. a number of ambulances have arrived on the scene. not clear if there was anybody inside the house at the time. earlier on the streets of gaza, we witnessed this. a number of men on motorcycles dragging what is clearly the body of a dead man. they were yelling god is great and claiming the man was a collaborator with israel. also on the streets of gaza city, israeli forces dropped leaflets telling residents to flee the area. again, leaflets dropped over gaza city, warning them to stay
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stay away from installations where hamas is. this is typical of the leaflets, telling people to move away from anyplace they see hamas members. not an easy order to follow, though. gaza city is a very densely packed city. across the border in israel, the barrage of rocket fire continues. cnn's fred plankin runs for cover. >> an air alarm going off right now we're going to get into safer place. literally just went off. let's get this unplugged. >> please be safe. >> when the rockets land, destruction, lives changed forever. at least 11 hit the southern city of birsheva. a home left in ruins, a family of six survived with just 30 seconds to spare going to a safe room. tel aviv, a residential building is also hit. u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton arrived for peace talks.
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>> the goal must be a durable outcome that promotes regional stability and advances the security and legitimate aspirations of israelis and palestinians alike. >> and that is what the last 24 hours have looked like, again, breaking news this evening, a series of massive explosions have really rocked central gaza city over the last hour or two. and we -- it is often the time when some of the biggest explosions occur. we are watching with some trepidation to see what may occur over the next hour. we'll join wolf blitzer, my colleague in jerusalem. arwa damon, and ben wedeman, and we have someone from sanford university, joining us from new york and princeton university's anne marie slaughter and we'll talk to the israeli ambassador of the united states. wolf, what are you hearing about hillary clinton's activity. she landed with tel aviv and met with benjamin netanyahu, and
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later she will meet with mahmoud abbas and president morsi in israel. what are you hearing about the talks with netanyahu? >> they met about two hours with netanyahu, the defense minister, foreign minister, national security team. they spent two hours, the statement released by the state department says she was briefed on the israeli position of all issues. she wants to see a deescalation of what's going on, she uses the word a calm. they are avoiding the word cease-fire for right now throughout the day, there is speculation coming from hamas and egyptian officials that they were close to a cease-fire. israelis downplaying the possibility. saying they weren't there until they actually had an agreement. no agreement, and if anything, it looks like there was an intensification of the shelling of southern israel today by hamas and an intelligence
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fiction of israeli attacks in gaza, witnessed by what happened to you guys what you saw over the past hour or two in gaza city. the negotiations will continue tomorrow, hillary clinton as you point out, going to ramallah to meet with palestinian authority leaders and going to cairo to meet with mohamed morsi. i wouldn't be surprised based on what i'm hearing if there is no deal yet, she might come back to jerusalem, engage in some shuttle diplomacy, akin to henry kissinger. if israel moves into gaza with massive amounts of grounds forces, tanks, heavy artillery, armored personnel carriers, it will be a disaster. you know this area, you're there. you know how densely populated it is. it's going to be a serious problem and what the u.s. and egyptians, most of the international community, they want make sure israelis don't do it. but prime minister benjamin
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netanyahu say to keep the rockets and missiles come there coming in, they might have to do it. >> the death toll now in gaza, palestinian officials say is 137 people killed so far in the seven, now eight days going into the conflict. official death toll for israel is five. one soldier was killed today, first soldier killed by a rocket fires from gaza. joined by arwa damon and been ben wedeman. the blasts bring home the difficulties so many civilians face. people don't know where a hamas rocket battery may be or hamas officials may be or who is living inside which building. and even news operations have no idea who else may have an office elsewhere in the building. >> and the other thing too, is since the israelis did expand their bombing campaign, not just targeting the various sites that hamas was using to launch
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rockets from, but also targeting government institutions, that has made that situation that civilians find themselves in more difficult. the massive explosion that took place back there was targeting a government installation we believe. but the government installation is in a residential area and no air raid sirens here. no way for people to get an advanced warnings. on many occasions, they don't know what the house next door is being used for or certain locations may or may not be there is no way to determine how to keep themselves safe. bearing in mind too, they don't actually have the option of leaving the gaza strip. >> ben wedeman, a huge role being played by israel here. a vast difference and it has been under the mubarak regime. you were talking to a number of members of the arab league here today. what are you hearing about talks ongoing? >> the talks that are ongoing, we were hearing earlier in the evening, they were very close to some sort of agreement.
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but apparently that got -- sort of ran into a roadblock. israelis not agreeing to the proposed solution, put forth by hamas, conveyed by the egyptians. what was interesting is that these arab ministers, not just arab ministers, but turkish foreign minister, first time such a large arab delegation showed up here and several made point that the reason why they are here is the arab spring, they have to be much more sensitive to public opinion, public opinion now is very much in support, not of hamas, but in support of the people of gaza, and another point one of the palestinian officials made to me, not a hamas official, but a fatah official, a senior one, that the united states isn't playing this sort of role that they were expecting. they were expecting a much more active assertive role by the united states and instead they
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find egypt, turkey, other countries of the region, are playing a much more proactive role in the crisis. >> hillary clinton will be meeting with mahmoud abbas, with the palestinian authority, with fatah in the west bank. a lot of observers say that's a face-saving move to help him out. sort of been sidelined in all of this, who comes out in the group stronger? does hamas emerge stronger no matter what happens? what does that mean moving forward for u.s. relations with pat stillian groups? the u.s. doesn't recognize hamas. been trying to deal with the palestinian authority. but if they have lost power, what does that mean moving forward to getting a longer term peace deal? >> to be honest, i don't think either palestinian faction comes out ahead the palestinian people have known six decades of futility. never been able to formulate what they need to do with their
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own lives. never have diplomatic answers. so i think now the hamas people will have their moment in the sun. there will be people that will come to them. visitors from afar. the turks will come in, and the turkish prime minister who is not helping the situation who just called israel a terrorist state, so they will draw this full solace. full solace for hamas. no victory for hamas. for ramallah, he is really on the sidelines and we can talk about it later. he wants to bring the issue of palestinian statehood to the u.n. on november 29th. that too is a false road. there really isn't a palestinian way through the gun and through hamas. >> no military solution frankly to this conflict by either side. some sort of political solution down the road. that roadmap seems very far off. at this point, hearing distant sounds of explosions, not
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anywhere in central gaza city, far off in the distance. we'll continue to broadcast from here, also from jerusalem, from the israeli side of the border, border towns have been hard hit over the last seven to eight days and talk to israeli ambassador to the u.s. when we come back. [ male announcer ] with over 50 delicious choices of green giant vegetables it's easy to eat like a giant... ♪ and feel like a green giant. ♪
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bone fractures and low magnesium levels with long-term use of nexium. possible side effects include headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. other serious stomach conditions may still exist. let your doctor do his job. and you do yours. ask if nexium is right for you. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. just had an air alarm right now. going off right now. we're going to a safer place. come on, let's get this thing unplugged. >> please be safe. we're going to -- okay. >> air alarm going off. move to a safer area. still with me, suzanne? >> i am, fred. please move to a safe area. if you have to disconnect. >> yeah, we're moving inside. come on, guys, let's go. >> welcome back. you can hear the sound of idf drones circling overhead and
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distant booms, explosions, not sure of the location of those, that drown is -- an ever-present sound over gaza city, and over much of gaza. joined by michael orr, israeli ambassador to the united states. appreciate you being with us. a lot of talk that some sort of announcement would be made earlier this evening, obviously that did not occur. we talked about a cooling down period. what can you say about negotiations that have been ongoing? >> well, first, always good to be with you, anderson. secretary of state clinton is in jerusalem this evening. held talks with prime minister netanyahu, and we're trying to reach a resolution to the conflict. that has to include, first and foremost, an end to the firing of hundreds of rockets, even today, by hamas on 5 1/2 million
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israelis, most of our population is under rocket fire, even as we're speaking. that has to stop. but we also -- we want to create a new situation. a new situation where terrorists from gaza will not be able to fire on our civilians every month or even every week and paralyze half of country, and to create a situation where advanced rockets and other armaments cannot be smuggled into gaza from iran. >> as far as you are concerned, is a military solution to this problem possible even? i mean, most people seem to say there is not a military is solution. it's ultimately got to be a plt political solution. >> the solution is for them to understand we are permanent and legitimate and if we are attacked, we'll retaliate. hamas is not a partner for negotiation. they are regarded as a terrorist
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organization. right now, the solution is to stop the fighting, stop shooting at civilians to prevent the smuggling of advanced arms into gaza and create a situation where a terrorist on a regular basis can't open fire on civilians and disrupt their lives. >> how concerned are you that hamas will emerge from this stronger or mahmoud abbas, sidelined in all of this, and if anything, seems, weakened in power after the eight days? >> i don't think hamas will emerge strengthened, not at all. they had a large part of leadership has been eliminated. many of their control centers, arms factories, taken a tremendous blow from the israeli defense forces, conducted 1,500 attacks against hamas in the strip. ten times more than the last confrontation in 2008-2009. we're willing to negotiate
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tonight even for a two-state solution. a palestinian state living side by side with peace, security and mutual legitimacy with the state of israel, and that would make president abbas i think a strong and prominent leader indeed. >> as you know, from the palestinian perspective, they say the occupation of west bank areas, the building of new settlements has got to stop is that something israel is willing to negotiate on? >> we froze settlements for ten months and they didn't come to the negotiating table. anderson, you're in gaza right now. in 2005, we ripped up 21 israeli settlements, evacuated 9,000 israelis from their homes in order to advance peace with the palestinians, and instead of peace, what did we get? hamas. thousands of rockets fired on our civilians. settlements not the issue. the issue is settling down at the negotiation table and face
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to face, israelis and palestinians working together. we are willing to do that tonight, willing to start negotiations and swiftly reach a two-state solution. >> you really don't believe that building new settlements is an issue for palestinians? >> i think it's an issue for palestinians, we have issues with the palestinians, palestinians name squares after terrorists, they try to delegitimize us in the world. but we're willing to sit down, work out all of the problems, settles, borders, jerusalem even. a complex issue, by negotiating face to face. no alternative. not only israel that says this, president obama says it, european union says it, quarter teth says it. no alternative to direct talks. >> ambassador, i appreciate your time.
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thank you for being on the program. >> thank you, anderson. >> joined by anne marie slaughter from princeton university. and cnn contributor and jill dougherty, our foreign affairs correspondent. anne marie, is it as simple as that, that israel says they are willing to talk and settlements aren't an issue? >> no, and it's above all not as simple as saying that hamas is a terrorist organization, and they have to stop, and being strengthened like this, they should understand the symbolism of david vs. goliath. the more they act and the more casualties, the more destruction in gaza, they have done this repeatedly and they themselves understand that this is only a temporary solution. there has to be a negotiation. the most positive thing we've heard tonight, anderson, is that
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everything could be back in play. it's been frozen for months and months, so everything could be back in play, but hamas has got to be part of the solution, at least as represented by the egyptians. you can't just pretend they are not there and negotiate only with fatah. >> what about that? what is the likelihood of a long-term solution, a long-term negotiation really is? many have said israel has not been serious the last few years about sitting down at the table? >> to be honest, the prospects are not very bright. we have to say something about american diplomacy. it has always been used by the united states. for the past 12 years, 8 under george bush and 4 under barack obama, the question of the israelis and palestinians have been kicked down the road.
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and the interesting thing about president obama, he has an obsession with the middle east that jimmy carter had, bill clinton had, but the interesting thing about president obama, and he calls the shots, its his did diplomacy, and we're coming in late with 12 years of advocation. >> hillary clinton is in the region. is it too little, too late? egypt has certainly been in the forefront of these kinds of talks? >> yeah, that's what she's doing doing. meeting tonight, two hours with benjamin netanyahu, and senior officials, foreign minister, et cetera. and then she goes tomorrow,
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wednesday, to ramallah, where she meets with mahmoud abbas and cairo. and that's really the key, one of the keys, because the -- mohamed morsi has influence with hamas and hopefully can do something. i think that he's right. they haven't been able to really change much of anything, and now the president who didn't want to get involved for a while or found that it was kind of useless not going anyplace is involved by sending dramatically the secretary of state. >> at some point, do you see the recognition of some sort of hamas? >> no, but i really have to disagree with my friend fuad. i don't think it's right to say barack obama is not pulled by the middle east and isn't fully committed to the same vision of peace between the israelis and
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the palestinians that bill clinton and george w. bush were. i think he has been stymied and has been unable to find an opening. that opening may be now. and he certainly did want to renew american efforts in a second term, but also understand, and it's very important that there will be no peace unless the other powers of the region are involved and it can't just be egypt. it has to be turkey, saudi arabia, qatar, jordan and here finally we have those players in the room and we may really have an opportunity for an opening. >> i mean, it takes two sides to negotiate. fuad, are there political leaders that both sides, hamas in the case of gaza, and israel and netanyahu's government have for keeping the conflict going? >> well, of course, the men of hamas -- this is like we said
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before. this is their moment. i mean, the men of hamas have nothing to offer the people of gaza. think of the people of gaza almost as a captive population. the men of hamas won that territory fueled by war, waged war in 2007 and conquered gaza and ran it as a protection racket. so hamas cannot be part of the game. hamas can't be part of negotiations. maybe the egyptians can try to mediate, maybe they can do it under the table. but hamas is not committed to a peaceful resolution, and the hope lies that we can reenoughiate the government, and ramallah, and only through the palestinian national authority that any form of accommodation could be reached. israel could reach agreements with syria and reach agreements with egypt, et cetera, with jordan. you can reach agreements with established governments. you can't reach agreements with gangs.
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>> but, anne marie, hoping that hamas goes away or is somehow weakeneds, that realistic? >> no, i don't think that the united states is not going to recognize hamas tomorrow, and obviously congress does prevent the administration from dealing directly with hamas, but, again, you know, actually, i don't see the people of gaza blaming hamas for their troubles. i see them blaming israel. i see hamas actually being strengthened, and in the end, you have to include gaza have both parts of the palestinians, that's exactly what qatar and egypt have been trying to do, bring hamas and fatah closer together. i think through egypt, they have to be represented. >> when you talk to people here in gaza about hamas, what do they say publicly, may be different than what they say privately. i appreciate you being on
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tonight. our coverage from gaza city continues. oh no, not a migraine now. try this... bayer? this isn't just a headache. trust me, this is new bayer migraine. [ male announcer ] it's the power of aspirin plus more in a triple action formula to relieve your tough migraines. new bayer migraine formula. [ gordon ] for some this line is a convenience. how you doing today? i'm good thanks. how are you? i'm good. [ gordon ] but for others, it's all they can afford. every day nearly nine million older americans don't have enough to eat. anything else? no, not today. join me, aarp, and aarp foundation in the drive to end hunger by visiting drivetoendhunger.org.
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don't be modest, bob. you found a better way to pack a bowling ball. that was ups. and who called ups? you did, bob. i just asked a question. it takes a long time to pack a bowling ball. the last guy pitched more ball packers. but you... you consulted ups. you found a better way. that's logistics. that's margin. find out what else ups knows. i'll do that. you're on a roll. that's funny. i wasn't being funny, bob. i know. another rocket landed a short time ago during the commercial break here in gaza city. an up close look at hamas. what people really feel about hamas.
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one of the biggest strikes we saw yesterday was on this building, the islamic national bank. i'm assuming it was a target by israeli forces because this is the bank where salaries for hamas members are paid out from. that building was struck yesterday, very close to the large strike that we saw earlier this evening with ben wedeman again. also joining us is anne marine slaughter, formerly of the state department and cnn contributor.
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how popular are hamas here? they clearly have support. they won an election. these days, how popular are they when they talk to people? >> not very. they are the biggest employer in gaza. if you want a job, and you can't find anything, you will provide something with hamas. they provide food, education to a certain extent. medical care some of people do appreciate that, because here in gaza as you've seen, a very poor place. >> they provide a safety net for the poorest. >> on the other hand, many people resent them, because they feel they are power hungry, dishonest, greedy, and they, for instance, monopolized the tunnel trade to egypt. they tax everything that goes through. nobody can dig a tunnel, operate a tunnel, without paying taxes, officially or unofficially. so there is a feeling that hamas is in a sense turned gaza into its own business.
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and how -- do people know where all of the rocket batteries are? where hamas is? we ourselves are trying to figure out is there hamas in a building where we are, there might be a strike? do people know everything about the locations of hamas installations? >> gaza is a small place. 1.5 million, 1.7 million people. everybody here seems to everybody everybody else, know who their family, what their family background is, so people have a good idea of who is hamas and who isn't. on the other hand, they aren't strangers, palestinians, gazans, like everything else, so they have an ability to sort of slip around and not be -- sort of conceal their identity. but people are very aware of sort of everyone's basic inclinations. >> really interesting, anne marie. when you talk to israeli officials like the ambassador, they keep denying that hamas comes out stronger and
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palestinian people will reject hamas, but privately palestinians say they are upset about hamas. it's not the message they say on camera. if hamas emerges stronger, what hope is there of some resolution? >> again, any time you are attacked, the natural response is to rally around the flag and that's true in the united states, it's true in gaza. wherever, so i -- i think it is true that if you held competitive election in gaza with a real alternative, it's not clear hamas would win. in this situation where people were under attack, they -- i think hamas does come out stronger. i think the only real way we can move out of the situation, ambassadororan said broker a deal where hamas is moved by the egyptians, at least until the next phase, where fatah and hamas, where there are parts of hamas that are considerably more
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moderate than the more extreme groups in gaza, then you've got a roughly unified israeli -- i'm sorry. roughly unified palestinian negotiating party. right now, they will have to go through egypt. >> clearly hillary clinton, by meeting mahmoud abbas are hoping to bolster fatah. is that likely? >> no, it's not. fatah is sort of on the sidelines, what cards can they play? nothing. the real access is gaza/cairo. cairo has real influence here. fatah is not popular in the west bank. there have been protests against it for corruption, for the rising cost of living. they are not popular.
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so i understand secretary clinton needs to go there as just sort of paying respects, but if she really wants to mange progress regarding gaza, it will come from cairo. >> is it possible that you could foresee a time when hamas respects israeli's right to exist? that's the point they always come back to. >> it's interesting to hear officials talk about hamas today. it's exactly the way they spoke about the plo in the 1980s, and, therefore -- but that changed. the dialog changed, they got into negotiations, they signed the oslo peace accords in september 1993, and now plo are the moderates. no reason why not to foresee the day when hamas will be speaking on behalf of the palestinians with the israelis. >> a little more with ben. when we come back, we want to show you some of the other things we saw. leaflets being dropped by idf forces warning gazans to move out of areas, warning them to stay away from hamas
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installations. easier said than done. we'll be right back. >> what caused the mass exodus is the israeli army dropping leaflets warning residents in certain areas that they needed to depart immediately for gaza city, and the leaflet even indicates which route they should take to stay safe. questions? anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day
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one of the reasons so many civilians, women and children, get injured in the blasts in gaza there are no air raid warning sirens, sometimes the idf drops leaflets, sometimes they call or send text messages.
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i think it's pretty clear we are moving in the direction
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of -- i can hear shattering glass out there right now. the building just shook. of course, because i was looking at the camera, i didn't see where the blast took place. anybody see it? okay, to the north of this building here. despite the talk of cease-fire, hala, it appears the guns are still firing. >> joined by ben wedeman and arwa damon. how you don't flinch, i'm not sure. i'm still jumping out of skin. very disconcerting for residents. there are no real air ride sirens, which there are on the israeli side of the border. people have no idea where a blast will occur. >> no, and they just try to avoid going anywhere near they might think could be a blast or an attack in this office, several of the staff are sleeping here tonight, because they are afraid to go home in the dark. so you really just try to be as cautious as possible and don't stray too far from areas where
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you are comfortable in. >> leaflets being dropped earlier today in one part of the city and arwa damon went to find people who are moving to areas in gaza that they thought would be safer, take a look. >> this is the first family we came across. barrelling down the road. all they knew, was that they did not dare stay at home. >> translator: we left without knowing where to go. >> reporter: they say they could hear explosions as they fled. what's behind this mass exodus was the israeli army dropping leaflets warning residents in certain areas they needed to depart immediately for gaza city, and the leaflet indicates which route they should take to stay safe. though few believed the israelis, they thought it was a better option than staying behind. the house was hit a few days
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ago. >> this is the second school they have actually gone to looking for a safe place to stay. it is full as well. now we're going with them to try out a third one. >> already packed. people angrily moved benches, staking their claim. there is another school, a young man gestures. come with me a mix of frantic search and fear. four years ago, the last time israel launched an operation in gaza, a school was bombed. they said that hamas was using the cover of schools to fire rockets. whatever the risk for these families there, is no alternative. this gives you an idea of how chaotic the situation this is. this is the fourth school this family has been to now, looking for a place to stay. finally, they find a room. come, come quickly, they call the rest of the family as others
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help to clear space. she is exhausted and stunned. the children arrive talking breathlessly about seeing a ball of fire outside. we're less than a minute away from the school, and while we were standing in there, we actually felt the windows of the building there shaking from explosion, and it seems this was the target. little reassurance for those that fled to stay safe. >> we're joined by ar wa, and ben and wolf blitzer in jerusalem. looking and listening to gazans, you see how few options that people here have. unemployment is high, poverty is very high. one thing to say we'll move away from an insulation that hamas has, not a lot of places for people to go. >> no, there aren't. and last night, for example, we were at a family's home. and normally there used to be seven of them living in one house and now their numbers swelled up to 30. some moving because they thought
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neighborhoods had come under bombardment and they are hearing horror stories or experiencing the horror stories of strikes hitting residential homes. one family moved into the other house, because their own ceiling they said was made of this thin sheet of metal, not thick concrete, and they were worried about it caving in on them. >> on both sides of the border, you see tragedy, people's lives forever affected, lost loved ones, family members, lost their homes or the psychological damage of living under constant threat. wolf blitzer, you spent the last two days on various towns along the border, ashkelon and elsewhere, and everybody has been impacted by these shells, by these rockets? >> and there are hundreds of thousands of israelis that live within 40 or 50 kilometers, 20 or 30 miles north of gaza, and they feel directly affected.
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there is a school in birsheba and ashkelon. a lot of the kids are sleeping in shelters, bunkers, they are afraid. their moms and dads very worried. i was in birsheba. outside, didn't look too bad. in the inside, the whole house destroyed. the mom, dad and four of the five kids -- the fifth was away four of the five kids there, heard the siren go off. had 30 seconds, ran into the small room which is their safe room. a concrete bunker really, sort of like the side of a closet and waited it out and when they got out, they were fine, okay. but their house totally destroyed and not livable at all. they have to go live in a hotel as they wait for whatever is going to happen. and you can see on the face of the little kids who heard the sirens going off, these kids were pretty traumatized by what happened.
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one story of what's going on. both sides of the border, pretty awful right now, anderson. >> yeah, in 2006, we spent a month in the areas north, in the fight against hezbollah, and a terrifying feeling to have rockets come in at least, you know, though there is no air raid warning sirens in gaza, there are on the israeli side of the border, the flipside, there is no targeting at all with the rockets being fired and they can land anywhere, and you really have no idea where they are going to land, wolf. >> yeah, and that's the point that the israelis keep saying. they try when they go into gaza, try to go after specific targets if you will and try to avoid civilian casualties, hamas rockets go into areas that are -- they just aim them. not very reliable or accurate. one of the rockets today, a longer-range that went out of gaza landed on the outskirts of jerusalem.
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not very far away from palestinians in the west bank. could have gone into a palestinian community in the west bank and landed in a field, didn't cause any damage, but they are very inaccurate and sort of a weapon of terror, if you will, and people are scared. >> yeah. ben, just very quickly, there are a lot of people in gaza who do not believe israel selects targets, that israel tries to avoid spilling casualties? >> no, i think this time around there are many people here who do know that the israelis are going after specific targets, and i was speaking to one palestinian here today, who said that some people are happy that hamas is being targeted and that civilian casualties certainly compared to last time around are lower than they were. >> that's the fear of the ground invasion that casualties would increase. ben wedeman, arwa damon. we'll take a short break.
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whoa! that blast occurring about two hours or so ago. government installations being hit multiple times. we got a quick news bulletin. some of the other stories we're following. susan hendricks joins us.
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social media led authorities to four american men who are accused of planning jihadista tacks against american targets. all four charged with terrorism. three of them arrested by federal agents in los angeles. the men posted their alleged plots on facebook. the fourth suspect found in afghanistan. officials in indianapolis have taken two people into custody in connection with the blast that killed two and leveled a number of homes in the area. but they are not under arrest. yesterday, authorities confirmed they were conducting a homicide investigation. the voice of elmo has resigned from "sesame street." kevin clash resigned after a lawsuit was filed claiming clash enticed him to have sex when he was 15 years old. another man recanted a similar claim. hostess says a last-minute negotiation was unsuccessful. the company goes to bankruptcy
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court tomorrow and is expected to seek permission to liquidate. anderson, back to you. erin burnett "outfront" starts right after this break. try running four.ning a restaurant is hard, fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business.
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